>> welcome to the "journal" here on dw. a syrian delegation in moscow for talks as the un on boy calls for a government of national unity. >> barack obama breaks off his christmas holiday to resume talks on the u.s. budget crisis. >> the annual chaos computer club conference gets under way in hamburg with organizers warning that government internet surveillance is a growing threat. the international convoy for syria made a proposal in damascus where he is delivering
talks. >> he will also be holding discussions in moscow as russia steps up its role in helping to find a political resolution to the conflict. the russian parliament says time is running out for damascus. >> it was a high-level meeting between syrian diplomats and the russian foreign minister. he made moscow's line clear -- the crisis has to be solved through political dialogue between the warring parties, but there was no mention of any new proposals to bring about that objective. the foreign ministry denied reports of a new peace plan from russia and the u.s. >> this plan does not exist. that is why it is not being discussed. with mr. brahimi and our american colleagues, we are trying to find a solution on the basis of the peace plan that was
agreed upon in june. >> the geneva agreement calls for a cease-fire and the creation of a traditional government, something the united nations special envoy still wants to see. in damascus, he appealed for a government of national unity. >> this government would lead the country in a transitional phase, which would end with new elections. they could be presidential elections if the parties concerned agree to it, or parliamentary elections.% >> but what role syria's president assad might play -- on that brahimi said nothing. syria's opposition has already dismissed his suggestions. hope for a rapid end to the bloodshed seems optimistic. >> syria will be the special focus later this half hour. >> we will have a special report from the turkish-syrian border. in other news, u.s. president
barack obama has broken off his christmas vacation to resume talks on the so-called fiscal cliff, taxes and spending cuts unless democrats and republicans reach a deal by new year's eve. >> nearly all the major players in those negotiations are starting to agree on one thing, and that is that a deal is virtually impossible by that deadline. senior officials say there is little hope of a grand bargain to shave trillions of dollars off of america's mountain of debt. >> applause for the bell at the start of the trading day is a daily ritual at the new york stock exchange, despite the enthusiasm, traders are keeping an anxious eye on share prices. the fiscal cliff is on everyone's mind. u.s. treasury secretary timothy geithner has warned that his department will need to take extraordinary measures to postpone the upcoming government defaults. he plans adjustments to the national budget that would give the u.s. two months of grace.
president barack obama has said he is still hopeful that a resolution can be reached this year. he cut short his vacation in hawaii to restart negotiations with republicans in congress. before christmas, the president called for bipartisan cooperation. >> now is not the time for more self-inflicted wounds, certainly not those coming from washington. >> analysts say failure to reach a deal with poison u.s. consumer spending. the fiscal cliff would trigger tax increases and government spending cuts in january, leaving far less money in the economy. the international monetary fund warrants of knock on effects for the global economy. -- warns of knock on effects for the global economy. the pressure is on in washington to agree on a plan. only then might the applause on
wall street be a little more genuine. >> with the clock ticking ever more loudly in washington, let's bring in our correspondent. first off, are the prospects of an agreement as dim as we are hearing, or could there be a last-minute deal? then of course this could happen, but i think it is quite unlikely. there is an increased pessimism that a deal can be achieved in washington, d.c. from my perspective, i think washington moves too slowly. tax rates will go for all americans, and cuts will go into effect by the end of this year, and we will see no more unemployment benefits for about 2 million americans. >> there are some technicalities here. what are the government's contingency plans? for example, how will it go about paying bills if no deal is reached? >> a couple of bills they will just not be able to pay. there are emergency measures taken to keep the government
operating for several more weeks by the treasury secretary, but they are only kicking the can down the road. the worst part of the issue is this uncertainty. they are just buying time. that is not a solution. martin phelps being a economic professor at harvard university, said the u.s. might fall back into recession, and i think this will have repercussions in europe and asia as well. >> that sounds very serious. how are americans responding to all of this? >> the majority of the people are just frustrated. they are tired of this partisanship. they want politicians in washington just to do their job. i think consumer confidence will go down, and the stock markets, wall street will probably go south. >> thanks so much. >> as we just heard, uncertainty is the word now in markets now on both sides. let's get the lowdown on sentiment among german
investors as trading closed in frankfurt. >> nobody here believes that the u.s. will fall over that fiscal cliff. it would just be too great, the consequences to dyer, not just for the united states, but for the world economy, too, also for germany, but people do not know, and they do not like the prospect of a decision may be taking more time, may be even reaching into the year 2013. it would be a pretty bad start, a rumbly start to the new year, people think. the trading was careful. the shares lost some momentum in late trading, late european trading when the u.s. began in the negative zone, and the fact that people were nervous also demonstrated by a lot of money going into the suppose it's safe haven of german bonds and into gold. >> let's take a look at the latest market numbers for you, starting in germany. the dax ended the day just a tad
up. euro stoxx 50 also made gains on the day. crossing over to new york, the picture is quite different. a lot of pessimism there. the euro gaining some ground against the dollar. it is not the only source of uncertainty in the world economy. >> a leading economic think tank says confidence is down in many german sectors compared to this time last year. the big picture does not actually looks so bad. >> the economy may have studied this year, but on the whole, 2012 was a good year for german industry -- certainly better than in many other countries. still, the business climate is cautious. in half of the sectors, confidence slid compared to next year. that is the result of a survey
of 46 industry associations by the iw economic institute in cologne. >> sentiment was down in the second half of the year after the worries about the future of the bureau, which would have had a drastic effect, and the memories of the sharp decline in 2009 have made people a bit cautious. >> the study concludes that the picture painted by business sentiment is bleaker than the actual economic situation. most sectors expect next year to be good for business. 20 of the 46 trade groups surveyed say they think production or revenues will be higher in 2013 than this year. 15 associations expect the figures to stay the same and only 11 predict their income will decrease. the financial sector expects losses next year while branches like the chemical industry, engineering and construction field they are in robust health. most associations expect employee numbers to remain stable.
>> it is a very different picture in spain where unemployment there remains at record highs. 25% of spanish workers remain out of a job, and with government spending being cut, that number is expected to increase. >> there has been a wave of protests throughout 2012. today, health workers hit streets in the capital, madrid. >> public health workers took their complaints to the door of the health ministry. >> the first thing we are going to notice is the decrease in the quality of care. other consequences will be a higher mortality rate. people will also stay sick longer.
>> the prime minister's government is making cuts in many areas. that includes reduced unemployment benefits and cuts for civil servants. add to that a hike in the value- added tax. the combined savings are supposed to bring down spain's budget deficit. the eu is giving madrid more time to get its deficits in line. reductions in health spending are only part of the total to save, but the symbolic value of cutting medical care is great, and so is public anger. >> the son of pakistan's former prime minister has made his first political address.
he told party supporters that he would carry forward his mother's legacy, saying that she had sacrificed her life for democracy. benazir bhutto was killed in a gun and bomb attack during her 2007 campaign. >> in student was brutally gang rape on a bus earlier this month, and the prime minister promised to review rape laws and punishments. demonstrators again took to the streets today, calling on the chief of the police department to step down. the government has also ordered an inquiry into the police handling of the case. meanwhile, the young woman whose case sparked the protests has flown to singapore for treatment. her situation remains critical. and internet where there are no political restrictions or government fire walls and were free discussion is the norm and
not the exception -- that vision shaped and promoted by the chaos computer club for almost three decades now is under threat. >> the club's 29th annual congress in hamburg. thousands of visitors will be attending lectures on how the world can make and keep the internet a free-form, especially for ideas that the powerful do not like. this year, the focus is on free speech and press. >> three decades ago, klaus said out on a crusade to make the cyber sphere safer. he founded the chaos computer club to draw public attention to the risks of information technology. >> our motto is to protect private data but to use public data. our government data should be electronically accessible. those ideas date from the 1980's. >> information security and censorship are major themes of this year's congress, billed as europe's biggest gathering of independent computer experts. one star guest was u.s. internet
activist jake of applebaum -- jacob applebaum. he warns that governments are increasingly spying on citizens and said there are plans to build in that massive data mining centers in the u.s. there was also criticism of germany for the data it collects in the name of security. >> we see some services want to break into their citizens computers. the goal is to control the networks. this happens in china, saudi arabia, and india. while european and american politicians flirt with censuring the internet or restricting it. of course we oppose that. >> among the club's hacktivists, programmers and i.t. experts have boosted attendance to record levels. >> when we come back, we look at the fate of syrian refugees. >> we'll be back in just one minute's time.
>> thanks for staying with us. >> as we've been reporting, there are renewed efforts to find a solution to the syrian conflict that has seen a civil war in the country deepened. >> the death toll has exceeded 45000 cents the conflict started about 19 months ago. >> the government and the syrian opposition appeared to have fought each other to a standstill on the battlefield, and the international community is divided on what to do about it. >> as the year draws to a close, we look back not at developments in the country over the past 12 months. >> syrians started the year with a glimmer of hope. the arab league put observers on the ground, and the fighting had subsided in some areas. but the arab league mission ended in disaster.
the monitors left at the end of january, and the country's civil war erupted with renewed force. the last international envoy to syria, former secretary general kofi annan, negotiated a cease- fire with president bashar al assad, but it did not last. u.n. observers sent to monitor the shaky truce had to leave shortly into their mission. kofi annan pose a successor has had little luck. >> diplomatic efforts in syria were half-hearted from the start. the problem is that neither side is interested in negotiating. for the regime and the opposition, it is an all or nothing fight. >> that approach was apparent in aleppo and other syrian cities. the rebels were able to take control of much of syria's largest city. their forces are now better armed and organized, but they have also been gaining growing support from islamist militants.
>> we are seeing that foreign- controlled medical groups with islamist aims are well-equipped, well-organized, and they are leading the fight on the ground in some cases. for instance, they have succeeded in capturing surface- to-air missiles from the syrian government, which has spoken of the assad regime's aerial supremacy somewhat. >> government troops have been feeling the pressure and have hit back even harder. there are reports the regime has even considered using chemical weapons. the fighting also spread to neighboring turkey, prompting nato to agree to set up patriot missiles along the country's border with germany supplying some personnel. peaceful rallies like this one last year are few and far between. the two sides have stopped talking. >> for the rebels, the only solution is a complete transfer of power. after 45,000 deaths, a future
with assad is inconceivable, and assad is not ready to hand over power, so we have no basis for talks. >> the number of civilian casualty has -- casualty's has risen month after month, and thousands have fled the violence. it was not until november, the syria's opposition formed a coalition led by a moderate islamists. western powers have backed the coalition but have rejected military intervention, and syria's powerful allies on the united nations security council have blocked the push for tougher action against the assad regime. >> the security council was paralyzed because russia and china have rejected a solution. as a result, regional and international actors in syria are pursuing their own interests. that has made the popular uprising both more regional and international and made the whole thing more complicated. >> the chances of a political solution to the syrian conflict
seem slim. both sides have put everything on the line to stave off defeat. the outcome of the conflict could be decided on the battlefield, or a military stalemate could prolong the fighting indefinitely, but peace is likely to remain elusive. >> as we heard in that report as the fighting continues, hundreds of thousands of syrians have fled across the borders to neighboring countries. >> that is especially to turkey where resources are now being stretched to a breaking point. many families are stranded on the syrian side of the border, coming mostly from idlib province and a level where fighting is especially fierce. >> we bring you now this special report on the plight of refugees and what they are entering. -- enduring. >> temperatures have been hovering around freezing. no one knows what today will bring. will they get enough to eat or
get themselves dry? we are near a syrian village near the turkish border. the war has driven an estimated 13,000 refugees to the area. they are stranded here. the olive groves are the end of the line for people here for now. the turkish authorities closed off the borders weeks ago to all refugees who do not have passports. most cannot, and some never did. there are no exceptions, even in extreme cases. mary -- marie spent months on the road looking for shelter. he was taken to the border for surgery, but then the authorities sent him back to syria. >> even though my wounds got infected, they would not let me back into turkey. they are trying to help me in a field hospital here, but they
are running out of everything. a big fire bomb hit, leaving me and many others injured. >> the camp has grown haphazardly with new refugees arriving on a daily basis, putting up their tents and saying for as long as it takes. most are living from hand to mouth. there is no running water or sewer system. the free syrian army is trying to organize the tent city, but they lack the money, experience, and personnel to take care of such a large group of people. >> from morning at 7:00 evening, this is for five people, for a family. >> he is living with his family of 17 in an old tent. >> the rain was terrible.
everything -- really everything got wet. even our mattresses. hopefully, my children will not get sick, too. >> basil is trying to provide the children at the camp with education, teaching them how to read, write, and drop. the children's drawings illustrate the impact of the war on their lives and the months many have spent in the camp. >> this is the helicopter of b ashar al assad. until a few months ago, about 5000 people live here. now there are four times that number. the refugees are glad to have a roof over their heads. osama hassan from aleppo spent months in a tent. >> i just wanted to get over the
border. a turkish border soldiers shot me in the leg without warning. they are not letting anyone through any more. >> it is hard for the syrian air force because of its proximity to the border. that is why the three syrian army set up their command center here. they have been planning their offensives in damascus and aleppo from a former school building. however, their tasks are changing as they take areas from government troops, and they have to look after the people. >> almost every third soldier among our troops has been pulled back from the front and put toward doing civilian tasks. >> such problems are unknown here 50 kilometers away across the border where 10% of the 130,000 syrian refugees in turkey our house. most have been here for a year already. it is well organized and clean and nobody is going hungry.
there is also a school, but the 130 students are teachers themselves, and they are here to learn turkish. omar left behind his life as a businessman and lawyer. here at the camp, he has become the headmaster of the school. at least 10 people live in his small container, which measures just 20 square meters. he says the only weapon against cabin fever is television. >> we had a very nice, big house. what is most important for a person is safety, and we have that here in turkey. we no longer have to fear assad's bombs, and we are grateful for that. >> the turkish town is located on the way back to the camp on the syrian border. it is home to 60,000 people and
an estimated 20,000 syrians now live here. there are no tents or containers, and rents have exploded. accommodation and even a makeshift building costs the equivalent of 250 euros a month, and most people have to do without heat. zachariah and his family of 12 were driven out by the constant shelling. >> my whole savings went to the people who smuggled us across the border and on the first three months rent. this is all i have left. i do not know what is going to happen. >> what is going on here is terrible, but it is nothing compared to what happened in syria. we cannot and do not want to have to go into the war zone. than the tens of thousands of syrians have fled to turkey, and
more are waiting on the border. those who have taken refuge in tents and containers will not forget this winter. what's worse -- they know that the suffering continues in the war zone they have left behind. >> that's all for now. thanks so much for joining us. >> stay with us here on dw. we will have more news for you in just about 30 minutes time. captioned by the national captioning institute --www.ncicap.org--